While NBC News tonight bawled about drunk drivers with up to 27 convictions going free, and not to jail, while their victims go into physical rehab, if they are lucky enough to survive, I read in the Lake Geneva Regional News that at 9:05 pm on February 20, a drunk driver was cited for his 4th offense in nearby Elkhorn. Every week, I read locally of drunk drivers being cited for their 3rd, 4th or 7th offense, while retaining their license and remaining free, while thousands are maimed and killed, not to mention intimidated and threatened by intoxicated men and women, old and young.

My first corporate job was at the headquarters of Allstate Insurance, working on national efforts to reduce the blood/alcohol levels at which people could be arrested for drunk driving. We worked with the public, with women’s organization and with state legislatures, and we were largely successful in reducing those levels. But thanks to the pervasive tavern lobby, especially here in Wisconsin, and a culture that still endorses having a half dozen or so drinks and still driving, we are still letting people who drive drunk over and over, and are arrested over and over, to remain on the road. Maybe there should be a blood/alcohol ignition interlock in every car on the road. Maybe it’s worth another 50 bucks to save thousands of lives and injuries. Or more simply, let’s exhort these sleepy state legislators to do something useful for a change, and get the drunk drivers off the road.

In addition to being designated drivers when needed, why don’t we all become designated lobbyists to demand that repetitive drunk drivers be kept off the road, at least for the sake of our loved ones? End the drunk butchering on our roads.

Advertisements